Category Archives: Uncategorized

Tips For Starting A Landscaping Business

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1. Decide on what services to offer

As you begin putting together your landscaping business, one of the first things to consider is your skill set.  You should only offer services that you are knowledgeable about. You do not want to get sued for property damage because you were trying to do something you do not have experience with.  With that being said, there is always room to add on more services as you purchase additional equipment and further develop your skills.

2. Grow your skill set

In order to get your landscaping business off the ground, you need to offer up a better job than the homeowner can do themselves.  Now is the time to better your skills at mowing, edging and trimming.  You may even want to think about taking a class on lawn care at your local college or see if any classes are offered elsewhere in your area. Gaining knowledge about plant care would go a long way too.  It is a good idea to become versed all around.

3. Know climate conditions

Knowing the climate conditions based on season in your area is an important part of being able to keep your clients’ lawns in tip top shape. Different techniques are needed for certain types of grass depending on the season. Having this knowledge will yield positive results for your clients and in turn lead to more repeat business. Bottom line here is that the more you know the better.

4. Apply for proper licensing

Before you are open for business, you need to make sure you have all the tax registrations, licenses and permits taken care of.  The requirements will vary depending on what city you are in but getting in touch with your local tax revenue office, the  county clerk and state department will give you the necessary details you need to get started.

5. Have the right equipment

When you are just starting out with your lawn care business a standard lawn mower and clippers may do the trick but as your business grows, you need to start upgrading your equipment.  Investing in commercial lawn care equipment will allow you to provide higher quality results and you will end up saving yourself money in the long run.

6. Advertise your services

In order for people to find out about your business, you need to do some form of advertising.  You can take out ads in any local publications, create your own ads and give them out to those in your neighborhood, have decals made etc. These are all small investments that can help you get the word out about your new business.  If you have the budget for it, advertising on the radio can drum up good business too.

7. Get insured

As your business starts to grow, you should think about getting an insurance policy for your company so that you are covered should an accident happen with an employee or the equipment. As a business with employees, you are required.  Commercial grade equipment is expensive and having insurance will definitely help with the cost of replacing or repairing it.

9. Keep up with industry trends

Every industry goes through changes year after year.  It is important to stay abreast of new kinds of techniques, technology, fertilizer etc. in order to stay a step ahead of the competition. As your business hopefully expands, you will want to consider upgrading your business systems.  Landscaping business management software is definitely something to consider to help you keep your business organized while maximizing profits.

 

 

10 Tips To Help You Optimize Your Facebook Marketing Strategy

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Instagram and Snapchat may be all the rage these days but Facebook still remains a dominant presence in the social media market. With over a billion people active daily, it is by far the most popular of the social platforms. In order for your Facebook business page to reach its fullest potential, you have to optimize your strategy.

Below are 10 ways to optimize your Facebook marketing strategy

Start with a Clear Goal

Before you begin to draft up any marketing plan, you have to set clear goals.  You also have to give thought to the metrics to measure for each in order to determine if your campaign was successful. These are steps you cannot afford to miss.  Below are some common goals to think about for a Facebook advertising campaign:

  • Driving up sales: If your business is targeting consumers, you want to look at using page post ads to promote your products in the news feed.  If you are targeting businesses, you want to stick with the page posts ads as well but also use the ads that appear in the right hand column. Either way, the end goal is to boost traffic to your website.
  • Increase brand awareness: More likes to your page is the goal and you can use page like ads to get them.  With that being said, you want them from a targeted audience.  Those of your competitors, people with aligned interests and custom audiences. Be sure to leave out those that are already fans.

Boost engagement on your posts

For this you want to use video ads, photo ads and link ads. You want your creative to be extremely visual with great photos.  Start by targeting your current base and add on by targeting those with similar age, gender, interest and purchasing behavior.

Mobile Ads and Desktop should be kept separate

Facebook provides you with different ad types that you can run.  They offer Instagram, desktop newsfeed, mobile newsfeed and right column. You should keep your mobile and desktop campaigns totally separate. This will allow you to enhance your bids, ads and conversions based on device.

Try out two different images

So much about advertising is visual.  Images will attract attention, and if you try out more than one, you will see they each perform differently.  For this reason, you should test out two images and see which one you get a higher response from.  You can then stop running the ad with the lower click rates and conversions that way you are maximizing your ROI.

Use Lookalike Audiences

Lookalike Audience from Facebook gives you the opportunity to create a custom audience that has the same traits as your current customers.  In order to create one, login to the Facebook ads manager and click on audiences. After that you just click on“Create audience” and select “Lookalike audience” from the menu.  You then need to choose the source of your lookalike audience.  This can be people who already like your page, those similar to your current customer base or people similar to those that have visited specific pages on your site. Keep in mind that the smaller audience size you go with, the more targeted it will be.

Add the Remarketing Pixel to your website

Potential customers that have come to your site but did not end up converting, are probably comparison shopping. This can take time and when they are ready to make their purchase, chances are they have forgotten about your site.  This is where the Facebook remarketing pixel comes in.  It allows you to target those people who came to your site via Facebook ads. All you have to do is install the code in the footer of your site. After a few days of pulling data, you will be able to see who has visited the different pages on your site. At that point, you can create lists to include in your marketing efforts.  A great tip is to exclude anyone who visited your thank you page since that means they already converted.

Use your email list

Facebook allows you to upload your email list and create a custom audience. Just create a .TXT or .CSV file with just one email address on each row.  Just go to “audiences” and it’s easy from there to upload it. You are also able to upload phone numbers and target them with Facebook ads, but that is only if their number is listed on their account. You also have the ability to create a lookalike audience based off of these targeted lists.

Schedule out your posts

As a business owner, finding the time to create great content to post for your social media accounts is tough.  With that being said, this is an essential part of content marketing.  If you find yourself not being able to dedicate the time needed to manage a successful Facebook presence, you should consider outsourcing this. You can partner up with a company that can create custom social media content for you. All you have to do is provide basic details about your company and your target audience and they will create unique content for your brand. This is not only for Facebook but also LinkedIn and Twitter.  Once you approve your content, you can schedule it to go out whenever you want.  This service has really been a time saver for my business and is definitely worth looking into.

Try out the carousel ads

If you find that your audience responds to product images that are in a series, you should consider combining them into a single carousel ad. Ecommerce businesses can also use Facebook’s dynamic product ads which allows you to cross-sell related products.  It will also allow you to retarget customers who visit your website but did not end up purchasing anything.

Advertise on Instagram, Too

Facebook owns Instagram, so if your audience is on there as well, it makes sense to advertise there.  You are able to create the same ads and you can choose whether you want your ads to just run on Facebook or both. A key factor with Facebook is you want to be sure to use segmentation.  Try running various ads on a small scale and see what works before dishing out more money.

7 Traditional Real Estate Marketing Tips That Help Bring In More Business

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Digital marketing has changed the real estate industry.  Homebuyers are online looking for homes on google and any other real estate websites.  All the agents are employing online marketing strategies, but as with anything, that can grow stale.  One way you can stand out is by revisiting those tried and true traditional marketing tactics.  This is not to say you should stop your social media marketing or any other digital advertising.  This is just something else to add back into your marketing arsenal.

Below are 7 traditional real estate marketing tips to help you boost sales.

1. Be proactive with your inbound marketing

In real estate, it is all about making those connections and it will not just happen by itself.  You have to be proactive.  Potential buyers and sellers are all over the place.  Your local events are a great place to start. Concerts, sports games, carnivals.  Use these venues to chat up couples both young and old.  Give them your business card and you now have a potential new lead.  Give them more than one so they can pass them onto any friends and family.  By doing this, you make yourself memorable.

2. Join forces with influential locals

Referrals are gold to real estate agents and brokers. Facebook and Google are good but the word of a trusted community professional is more trustworthy.  Consider linking up with heads of churches, newspaper editors, your local civic association as well as anyone else in a leadership position.

3. Every “for sale” sign should have your cell phone number and email address 

This is a great tactic, yet many agents leave this one off their to do list. Potential buyers do not want to get stuck with an answering service to try and get to the agent. Giving them access to your direct cell number and email address is much more inviting. You can even tell them to text you which makes it even easier for them which is a win all around.

4. Put together educational events

Whether you do it alone or bring in other real estate colleagues, putting on an event of expert lectures is a great idea.  You can give tips on credit repair, how to qualify for a mortgage, tips on refinancing or any other topic related to real estate.  At the end of the event, you can pass out your business card and give out flyers.  You will no doubt get a nice amount of leads.

5. You must follow up

This may seem obvious, but many agents often forget to follow up with potential clients. Leave a voicemail or send an email.  If you are worried about coming across as being pushy, give some thought as to how you can provide them with something of value.  You can share a new listing you think might interest them or some other information that they will find value in.

6. Get out there and network

This is one of the oldest forms of marketing and still stands strong.  Speak with local contractors, business owners, mortgage brokers, interior designers.  Anyone you can think of that can be an avenue for more business.

7. Get those flyers out

Flyers are still one of the most effective marketing tools for getting the word out about your listings.  Print them out and put them anywhere you can think of that allows businesses to market themselves.  Local businesses and community boards are a great start.  While you are at it, create real estate email flyers as well. It is a super fast and easy way to get the word out about your listings.  Make sure you have all the pertinent information on them and press send.

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Tips For Creating New Social Media Posts With Old Content

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Coming up with fresh new content on a consistent basis can definitely be time consuming. If you are trying to get more posts out or even just looking to fill in some gaps, re-purposing your previously published content is a great idea.

Here are a few ideas on how you can re-purpose your work.

1. Take previously shared photos and use them as backgrounds for graphics and visual quotes

Do you have an awesome photo that you shared a while back?  Get creative and apply a filter or add an inspirational quote and repost it.  Boom.  You have a fresh new post ready to put on your social media channels.  Another thing you can do is use previous photos in your header images.

2. Evergreen content is your new best friend

Evergreen content is content that has no expiration date and will retain its value and relevancy over the long-term. These can be anything from how-to tutorials, videos, product reviews and more.  If you have any of these that you have posted, add a new spin on it or you can add value to the post by providing more in depth information on the subject at hand.  You can also rewrite the content by switching up the wording and adding some graphics.  Check out this informative article from Social Media Examiner if you want to read more about evergreen content.

3. Take a past post and build on it

If you have any past posts that have really done well with responses and shares, you can use this post as the base for a new post.  You can take the old post and add any new details or developments to it.  Voila, new post ready to go.  If you are not scheduling out your social media content , you should be.  This is a huge time saver and beneficial to your overall marketing process. I like using Autogrammer to schedule Instagram posts.   I can schedule out posts to Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and their photo editing and sharing capabilities are great and simple to use.

4. Take survey results and make them into posts or graphics

Surveys are a great way to boost engagement with your followers.  If you have done any, they can really be a great source of content. After you have taken a survey, you can use specific insights that you found and create them into visual content (share facts, create an infographic).  You can also try and come up with new questions to ask your followers.

5. Put together summary posts

Putting together a summary of posts is an easy way to get more eyes on your more popular pieces of content.  Gather up your best or most popular posts from a specific period and showcase them to your audience with a tagline like “In case you missed this” or #ICYMI.  You can also present it as a “Best of the week/month” compilation of great posts on subject matter that is related to your business or audience.